If you tried to save “The Game” and “Everybody Loves Chris” on the CW your efforts went unnoticed. You, sirs and madams, are NOT fresh faced white teens. What you want to watch does not matter.
But you knew that, right?
So get out your chisels and the limestone so you can add their names to the wall of black shows that were not given proper series finales and were unceremoniously dumped from the air, mid-cliffhanger, whether they were successful or not.
“The Game” and “Everybody Loves Chris” have familiar company in this no man’s land. Like FOX’s once no. 1 rated sitcom “Living Single,” UPN’s “Moesha,” “Girlfriends,” “South Central,” “Half and Half” and “Frank’s Place,” they’re being kicked off the air they same way they were brought in — underfunded and with little promotion.
All you have left now are Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.”
More after the jump.
I honestly tried to watch “House of Payne” the other night. I really, really did. Because I love Allen Payne, you see. And he is on the show. And he used to be in movies. Like “New Jack City” and “The Perfect Storm,” “Jason’s Lyric” and “A Price Above Rubies.” You know? Real movies. Like, he was the lead in some of them and the love interest in others and he had substantial speaking roles and a few of the films made money! Remember the 90s, Allen? Good times. I tried to watch you! I really, really tried, but I just wanted to put my head in my hands and cry.
What the fuck happened to your career? Damn you, Hollywood! Damn you to hell! It’s bad enough you keep cancelling Mara Brock Akil’s shows (She took what Yvette Lee Bowser started and made it ten times more awesome!) but look what you did to Dead Mike? I’ll never forgive you! And why isn’t Jill Marie Jones in SOMETHING already? How is she in beer commercials when she was one of the stars of a popular sitcom? I hate this industry so MUCH!
In my story on the lack of blacks in sci fi I got a testy response from one reader who felt my energy would have been better spent writing a sci fi show than playing “the race card.” May I point to Akil as an example of how you can be good at something but it doesn’t matter if the industry treats your creations like they’re 22 minute pieces of filler until they can come up with the next “Pretty white kids with problems” show.
You can produce great material until you’re blue in the face, but if you can’t get the industry to support it, you are screwed. Hence why you have someone like me writing about the lack of black people in sci fi. I swear, an industry that can’t find a place to stick Jill Marie Jones is wrong on so many levels that if Mr. Playin’ The Race Card can’t see that it is because he chose not to. The fact that Akil’s shows keep getting cruelly slaughtered without even so much as a “fuck you” is a PROBLEM. To be treated like a black audience is basically disposable, that you can throw up some garbage and they will watch and you can build some advertising revenue then DUMP THEM ALL the minute you have enough scratch to create “Gossip Girl” is a glorious, cold, pimp slap to the face.
Or as Akil wrote on the blog Rushmore Drive:
(O)n the one hand I am truly thankful for the blessing of opportunity, but on the other, I’m mad, frustrated and disappointed that my veteran experience, which includes running “Girlfriends” and “The Game” for two years at the same time, doesn’t equal a cushy overall development deal somewhere, like my white male and sometimes female counterparts seem to land even in this time of economic crisis. Somehow, because my characters were of color, my shows don’t count as much. Doesn’t matter that at one point “Girlfriends” was the longest running comedy on television. Successfully producing 236 episodes (172 episodes of “Girlfriends” plus 64 episodes of “The Game”) of television doesn’t have as much value. But that is the plight of being black in this business. That is the plight of being a woman in this business.
Yeah. What she said, Mr. Playin’ The Race Card. You ass. They try to act like it was just a movie, but “Bamboozled” is frackin’ real, people! It’s real.